Sunday, October 27, 2013

Peat Dirt Storm

Here in the San Joaquin Delta the richest soil contains lots of decomposed peat moss, which is very light in weight. If it's been dry for a while and the winds kicks up it gets blown right out of the fields and into town.

Frequently when I was a kid we'd have huge dust storms in the summertime. The farmers have changed their practices so it doesn't happen so much anymore, but today we have having a doozey.

The day started out nice, and the temperature is still warm, but it's blowing 20 knots. All the halyards in the marina are clacking on the masts (why do people allow that to happen?) and the wind is shrieking through the rigging. The boat is heeling over and the bumpers are squeaking. 
Needless to say, the sewing project got packed up and put away.

Just look at those little williwaws going down the fairway.

A Sewing Project

Our boat came with a "cover" and I managed to rig it up right after we got the boat. However, I couldn't  figure out what it was supposed to do. It wasn't high enough to walk under so it couldn't have been a sun awning. And it didn't really cover the cockpit, so it would have allowed rain in, so it wasn't a winter cover.

So I have decided to make it into a rain awning. By sliding it way aft of where it was designed to go, it is now wide enough to cover the entire cockpit with fabric enough to create a wall at the transom. Our transom faces South and that's where our winter storms come from, so hopefully it will block the rain from that direction. And it still goes over the dodger so we should have a snug refuge from the winter storms. 

And what a beautiful day to be outdoors sewing. I think I'm getting a sunburn!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Our Local Burger Joint

Every now and then we are too lazy to cook dinner and we walk over to our local burger joint; Bob's at the Marina.

It's an old fashioned place with basic burgers, fries, onion rings, and sandwiches. And they serve a generous breakfast too. Oh, and beer and wine. 

But the best part is, you can come here by boat and tie up at the guest dock while you eat. In fact, we could do that too, but it would take about 45 minutes to get our boat from the Sailing Club to this marina. It's way easier to walk out the front door of the condo, turn left and walk about a half block, turn left at the marina driveway, make our way up to Bob's, and order a burger and a beer. But maybe someday we will bring our boat here and enjoy looking at it while we eat our lunch.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Cheap Thrills

So we got these little LED lights earlier this year for the patio at the condo. But we decided to take them out to the boat and hang them around the awning. 

Party Time! 
We ate dinner out here this evening and it was very pleasant to have these little lights. We had to drape an extension cord down into the aft cabin, but we could put a 12 volt plug on them if we had a 12 volt outlet in the cockpit.

Just add that to the list......

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Decorating Project

This project was instigated by a card we received from some dear friends in England.
I took the card out to the boat, read it to the Captain, then looked for a place to display it. Wherever I put it, it was in the way or it kept falling down. As I've said before this boat has no little shelves or fiddle rails or anywhere to set anything.

I decided to make a memory board and attach it to the head door. First I made a paper pattern of the funny shape of the door panel. Then the Captain cut it out of 1/4" plywood. I marked out the ribbon pattern and drilled the 1/16" holes for the buttons. Next I stapled two layers of quilt batting and the fabric over the board.

Then I stapled the ribbon along the lines and sewed little buttons on the front. To secure them I went through identical buttons on the back and knotted the tread securely.

I like how this turned out. It not only provides a display space for cards, photos, and notes, but it also brightens this dark corner.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Typical Day on the Delta

It was so peaceful and quiet anchored behind Spud Island that we slept until 8:00 am. After a leisurely breakfast and tidy up, we raised the anchor and headed back upriver towards the Port of Stockton.

Out on the channel there was plenty of traffic. Lots of these...
And these...
And these.
Stockton is a deep water ship port and we get several ships in and out each week. The channel is 30' deep all the way to San Francisco Bay, and about 200' wide here. Although it looks close, there is plenty of room, BUT, if you dilly dally in the center of the channel, you will get a long blast from the ship's horn. He is saying, "Get out of my way!"

Shortly after the Western Tokyo went by the Atlantic Star went by, then we saw the Coast Guard zooming by, headed toward the port.
They are on "Homeland Security" duty and provide protection for the propane tankers every time they move along the channel.
And here is the propane tanker, Luigi Lagrange, that they were hovering around. If you wanted to pass it they would escort you and stay between you and the ship. And the sailor on the bow had both hands on his loaded M240 At all times. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

More LED Lights

Before we left the dock yesterday the Captain installed three more LED lights. He also retrofitted two existing lights with LEDs. When he removed the old lights he found THESE!
Wire nuts absolutely do not belong on boats because moisture will eventually get to the wires causing failure and/or arcing. 
It's best to solder the splices and seal them with heat shrink.
So that's what the Captain did. The galley was out of commission for a while, so we went to In-N-Out for lunch.

Here's how the new lights look.

He wired the lights so we can turn on either the left light, the center lights, or the right light. And the Admiral/Galley Slave is much happier now.

Our Third Outing

We decided to take the boat out for an overnight so we loaded up the frige, washed the boat and...
here we are motoring down the river!

We've got some chicken to barbecue and some new music and this is our view.

And we have our Kruzick memorial anchor light burning. Thank you Larry and Trudy.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Galley Lighting

Before we bought our boat this was our kitchen. It was large, cheerful, and bright with plenty of counter space, two sinks, huge frige, six burner range, and lots of storage. It also had great task lighting, under cabinet lights, and general illumination provided by several fluorescent lights.

Now here we are on the boat with a tiny space, only 4' of counter space, tiny frige, tiny freezer, three burners, and horrible lighting.
Now that it is getting dark earlier we really notice the bad lighting over the sink in particular. There is only one fixture in the corner behind the cabinet so most of the sink is in the dark. Not good.
Tonight the Captain replaced that light and added two others. He is using these LED lights from Charles McMurray. 
Not only are they bright and sleek but they provide excellent lighting using way less amperage. I am totally impressed and so is the captain. We will probably end up replacing all our lights with LED lights.
Here's how the sink area looks with three  new LED lights. Pretty amazing, isn't it? And they only draw about one amp.
Maybe we will tackle the other side of the galley this weekend. Notice there are no lights over the stove at all? We plan to add two there as well.